Thursday, December 21, 2006
A Look at Hamas
How would you define Hamas? A sponsor of suicide bombings against Israel? A charitable organization that is highly respected by international organizations as taking good care of its own? If you answered yes, you are correct.
Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. Considering that Hamas sponsors suicide bombers who have succeeded in killing several Israelis seems to make that designation appropriate.
But what about the other side of Hamas? Is there one? Yes.
In the Gaza, many people have a great deal of love and respect for Hamas. Those whose loved ones have died in the conflict with Israel received an approximate $200 per month stipend. Their children are each given another $30 for food and clothing, and receive a free education.
This year, however, tourism is way down. After Hamas took over the Palestinian Authority Parliament, and after more recent clashes with rival group Fatah, the hope of a year ago that 2006 would be somewhat of a return to normalcy has faded.